How To Start A Business Without Quitting Your Day Job

Starting a franchise business can be an attractive option for people who have always wanted to have their own business, but may not be ready to quit their day jobs just yet. Being able to profit directly from your labor, increase your independence, and gain better control over the future of your career all prove compelling incentives for folks like John Baldino and his wife, Kathleen, of Milford, Delaware. Baldino and his wife, both with corporate backgrounds, spent some time researching franchises, and the one that rose to the top of their list was a beauty salon business. They liked its business model and that it was a “manager-run” business, in which the owner manages the manager, who runs the store. “I was already a customer for probably five years before I actually bought one,” he said. The idea of starting with a small operation that offers future growth has great appeal, especially for folks who may be anxious about venturing out on their own. A franchise system like the one the Baldinos chose can help ease the transition. The way this franchise system is designed, the owner is the people manager and the cheerleader, whose job is to check the numbers and be involved in recruiting, training and marketing, as well as scoping out the next business opportunity. After deciding to purchase a salon, Baldino said they went through a six-month evaluation — a type of mutual vetting period — before they were able to sign the contract. “The process of how to run this business is very well-defined,” Baldino said. “There was a clear understanding of what it takes to be successful.” Baldino particularly liked how the company’s procedures and technology all worked together. For example, this franchisor offers its owners an iPad app, through which franchisees can get real-time data on what’s going on in their salons. Owners can actually sit in their office (at their job) and watch the salon. They can see which stylists are currently cutting hair and which ones may be on a break. Many of this company’s franchisees come from corporate America, and the quality they tend to share is an interest in conservative growth. They want their own businesses but don’t want a lot of risk, so they prefer to start slow. And over time, franchisees are encouraged to purchase additional salons because a multi-unit operation offers economies of scale, as well as greater management flexibility. For example, managers can shift stylists around to different stores to meet demand The Baldinos started with one franchise two years ago, opened their second a year later and are now actively scouting for another location. “I have a great general manager. She runs both salons,” he said. “I just have to mix in the right people.” Baldino estimates he puts in about 10 hours a week, and his wife, who left her job to devote more time to the business, works 25 to 30 hours a week. Their growth mode increases the time commitment, he noted, since opening a new salon requires an extensive ramp-up period and intensive marketing to encourage people to change their habits. Since their managers handle the nitty-gritty of day-to-day operations, he and his wife can think about the bigger picture, such as marketing and growing their business. While Baldino isn’t ready to leave his corporate job, he can imagine the day he will transition completely to small-business owner. By then, it may not be such a small business. As for now, they’re looking at one franchise at a time.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

Choose a franchise for the long run: Growth opportunities for the 21st century economy

Long Road

While everyone’s always looking for the next big thing, the smart money is on the long term trend — in franchising as much as any other business.

So rather than cruising your neighborhood in an effort to ascertain the types of businesses most in demand, look to the larger economic trends to guide your search for a new business.

While great opportunities abound in the wide world of franchising, you have to research market trends to winnow down your choices to those that work for you and offer the best long-term growth.

The decision on what type of business to invest your hard-earned savings and labor requires as much of your business acumen as you will have to apply in operating your future business.

Plan on spending up to six months or longer on research, beginning with general reading in business and trade magazines then eventually getting specific materials from various franchise companies. Your job is to peruse these, possibly with the assistance of a good franchise coach, then move on to interviewing franchisees who can show you the way or possibly warn you off.

We like two main categories for today’s economic climate: businesses that succeed even in economic downturns and those that capitalize on our new economy.

Businesses resilient during hard times offer conveniences time-strapped families can’t do without or services that cannot be postponed. These include:

Services Always in Demand

Senior Care

As we all know, the Baby Boomers are swelling the ranks of senior citizens, setting a great growth trajectory for senior care. Franchisors galore operate and thrive in this segment.

Companies that retrofit homes for accessibility and child-proofing

Firms like 101 Mobility capitalize on the trend for more older people to stay in their homes well into their very old age. And with Millennials now having babies, you can find good opportunities with firms that child-proof homes.

Property Damage Repair

No matter the rate of unemployment or growth in GDP, natural disasters will continue to occur, and families whose homes have been damaged by fire, flood and hurricane will require clean-up.

Services that capitalize on economic trends

Temp Staffing

In this age of downsizing, many companies now routinely use contract workers and temp staffing project by project.

IT Support

As an integral aspect of 21st business, most small businesses outsource their IT support, and many franchisees have had success fulfilling this need.

Business Coaching

Along the same trend line, as people now have to reinvent their careers on average every three years, a sizable number require assistance to help them determine their next strategic move. If you have read this far, you know what I mean!

Digital Advertising

As the “Mad Men” age of advertising fades into distant memory and social media is now king, lots of established businesses need help in reorienting their advertising strategy toward the digital sphere.

You can find plenty of opportunity in franchising in all these economic sectors. And a franchise coach can help you navigate the crowded field.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2015

This guest post is by Dan Citrenbaum, a Franchise Coach and Entrepreneurial Consultant who helps people achieve their dreams as small business owners.  Find Dan at www.EnterpreneurOption.com

Reinventing Your Career? 5 Steps To Assess Your Transferable Skills

As we all know, most of us will reach a time in our work life when we have to reinvent our careers for an evolving economy. Some of us go back to school while others enter new businesses. The first thing you want to do is to stop thinking of yourself as just a job title, whether that be financial analyst, human resources specialist, manager, teacher, homemaker or whatever. No matter how you spend the first part of your career, whether it’s coaching soccer or fully entrenched in corporate America, we all end up developing a specific expertise. But if you start your own independent business from scratch, you will need to know something about every aspect of the business, from managing staff to selling your product or service. If you’re interested in a switching to a new industry, you might want to consider a franchise, which comes with a tried-and-true business model, a brand name and marketing expertise, as well as a training program and ongoing support. With a franchise, you get to operate your own business while having a team of experts behind you. To accurately gauge your preparedness for any new endeavor, you should consider all the skills you have accumulated that can be transferred to a new career.

Take a Personal Inventory

As you take an inventory of your skills, you want to dive deep into the details of your day to accurately assess your strengths and transferable skills.

1. List what you do in an average workday.

Make a list of all the activities you perform in any given day over a week, since not everything you do happens daily. And don’t skip anything you may consider “a no-brainer” or insignificant because these little things can add up to a very significant skill. So, if you sometimes have to field phone calls from disgruntled clients, and you’ve discovered you’re really good at calming people’s nerves, that’s a valuable skill. Even if your job title is financial analyst.

2. Realistically assess your personal strengths

You don’t need to be good at everything, but if cold-calling is an essential aspect of the business, you need to know you can do this day in and day out. Consider core skills such as communications, business acumen, managing people, marketing, and so on. Be honest with yourself and stay clear of businesses that rely on skills that are not among your strengths.

3. Are you detail-oriented or more the big-picture thinker?

If you’re a numbers person and love tabulating figures, you may want to find a business that can capitalize on this valuable skill. Or maybe you prefer creating strategies that can make the whole operation run more smoothly.

4. Do you have good follow-through?

Building a clientele involves not only making good connections but following through to convert these new contacts into lasting relationships. Follow-through can also be an essential attribute in managing staff. A good franchise program can help you learn this skill.

5. Are you a people person?

Do you love being around and meeting new people? Do you strike up conversations easily and enjoy learning about other people’s interests and goals? Many businesses require a whole range of people skills in hiring and managing staff and attracting and keeping customers, but there are lots of businesses where the role of the owner mainly involves working alone at your computer. Personal inventory in hand, you’re now ready to begin researching businesses that would best match your skills and interests.

Three Ways a Franchise Can Lower Your Risk

Tired of the 9-to-5 grind?

That has become a quaint expression in today’s economy since most people work far more than 40 hours, and some people are veritably chained to their employers seven days a week via email and text message.

No wonder so many people want to change jobs. More than half of all U.S. workers are not satisfied with their jobs, according to the most recent survey by The Conference Board. Moreover, upwards of 70 percent of them are thinking about changing jobs, according to monster.com.

A better option might be to take complete charge of your career by going into business for yourself.

A great way to lower your risk is to buy a franchise, which offers a multitude of advantages for the new business owner.

Three Key Ways a Franchise Lowers Your Risk

First and Foremost is the Financial Disclosure Document

With no other type of new business do you get as much information upfront as with a franchise, thanks to the federally mandated Financial Disclosure Document. Most new businesses begin with a vision, but their operations must be invented every step of the way. By contrast, a franchise will teach you exactly how to run the business to maximize success. They have done it many times before, and they know what works.

And you can learn just how well all this has been working by reading the FDD, in which franchisors disclose a history of the business, including when it was established and any other names under which it has operated. You can also learn if its executives have faced any litigation or ever failed in a business.

You can ascertain exactly how much money you need for your initial investment, including fees, estimated wages and costs to purchase supplies, inventory, set up an office, as well as for insurance and rent.

And since being fully capitalized is one of the keys to ensuring your business makes it for the long run, this information can make the critical difference between success and failure.

The FDD also has a list of franchisees currently in business, as well as those no longer in operation. This list becomes one of your most important resources. We recommend you call as many franchisees as possible to learn how they’re doing, and whether they are happy with the franchise company.

Second, a franchise comes with a proven system

While not all franchises are created equal, the good franchises have developed an operating system meant to create the conditions necessary for success. They have a group of franchisees continually testing new ideas and improving the system. These folks, as well as support staff, can offer lots of helpful advice along the way.

Third is the training and support to help you learn the system

When you buy a franchise, you have a whole team of support behind you. A good franchisor is invested in your success. The franchise company has a built-in incentive to help you succeed since the more money you make, the more they make, too.

Before you even make a purchase, you will have lots of phone conversations, as well as in-person meetings about the franchisor’s system, their training and support and even what type of profits you might expect.

Still, a franchise is not for everyone. If for some reason you don’t like the franchise system or you don’t plan to follow the system as laid out by the franchisor, don’t buy the franchise. If you prefer to invent your own business model with ideas hatched in your own creative imagination, a franchise is not for you.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2020

Starting A Business? 4 Ways To Capitalize On Economic Trends

As any successful entrepreneur will tell you the best businesses are ones that anticipate the next great economic trend. Related: 6 Things To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Business Some fields may be on the upswing as other industries may be dying out. Figuring out the future might look difficult, but you can start by identifying ways in which the economy’s recent changes have already created opportunities. The evergreen nuggets of wisdom still apply in the 21st century:

  • Read the business press: newspapers and magazines and any trade journals that apply in your industry of choice (either in print or online).
  • Poke around your own region to notice who’s succeeding and why.
  • Pay attention to economic indicators that track growth in the U.S. economy, based on such areas as stock prices, payroll, sales and production, unemployment and inflation. Notice sectors that stand out.
  • Consult the experts.

Your most important decision is in choosing which fork in the road to take. While Robert Frost may have had a point about taking “the one less traveled by,” when it comes to business, you probably want to choose a path on which people have a demonstrated track record of success. The good news is we see some strong, lasting trends in our current economy that are less susceptible to short-term blips. In an age of down-sizing and out-sourcing, these are the support services that companies now require to accomplish many essential tasks.

Starting A Business? 4 Ways To Capitalize On Economic Trends

You will find many opportunities to start your own business with a franchise that has a strong history of success and offers good training and ongoing support. Here are four ways to capitalize on economic trends when starting a business:

1. Temp staffing

One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is in temporary staffing. According to a report from the American Staffing Association, temporary and contract staffing services set a new annual record 2014, and growth is expected to continue into 2015 and beyond. There are many franchise companies in the temp staffing field. Your research needs to be very thorough to separate the strongest from the mediocre.

2. IT Support

While every large corporation has its own IT department, many small or medium-sized businesses cannot afford IT staff in-house. The solution is to contract out with an IT company that can handle security and maintenance to keep these essential computer systems humming. Franchise companies have made great inroads in filling this growing need.

3. Business Services

Firms that help other businesses improve efficiency have also shown strength in today’s economy. Since corporate America operates on a lean budget, they don’t have the resources to study their systems in-house and often rely on consulting companies. The investment can more than pay for itself.

4. Digital Advertising

Lots of established businesses whose long-time employees may not be savvy experts in social media hire out for this expertise, an integral component of 21st century marketing. One great advantage of franchises in the business services arena is they often require lower startup costs, and you can save overhead by working from home, at least initially. Wherever your interests lie, there’s no time like the present to recharge your career with a franchise.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-5489.